Bulletin N° 767
Subject : THE POLITICS OF IDENTITY & POWER IN THE AGE OF LATE CAPITALISM: ONE PATHOLOGY AFTER ANOTHER.
29 September 2017
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
Although George Orwell’s description of the totalitarian state in his 1949 novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, is simplistic compared to what we are dealing with today under contemporary corporate capitalist rule, he did issue a valid universal warning when he wrote:
He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.
Is class consciousness transcended by universal concerns about climate change and nuclear war? Is our only chance for salvation to appeal to the millionaires and billionaires and to their cronies among us for help to divert catastrophe? Is it time to drop all traditional notions of Power and rely on the influence of Christian Charity? Will the haves finally come to the rescue of the have-nots? If we submit to slavery will the wealthy sector of society feed, cloth, and house the rest of us as long as we are useful to them?
These questions reflect the abject conditions we are approaching; an ideological war of attrition is underway, and has been for some time. Where does Marx weigh in on these questions? For an evaluation of the historic roles played by individual interests, group interests and class interests, see Bertell Ollman’s careful explication of Marxist analysis in “Putting Dialectics to Work: The Process of Abstraction in Marx's Method”, Chapter 5 of his 2003 book, Dance of the Dialectic: Steps in Marx's Method.
In past CEIMSA bulletins we have discussed the nature of political power and how it is exercised. John Kenneth Galbraith and Max Weber were two sources in our discussions. [For more on The Anatomy of Power, please see CEIMSA Bulletins N°602, N°627 & N°665.]
In the 18 items below we continue our conversation about “the conditions that have created a submissive population in the face of the awesome violence of war and global climate catastrophe.” The cultural hegemony of neo-conservative ideology, in the wake of consumerism and the economic requirement of war, is creating a pathological indifference to the suffering of others – the political base of American politics has shifted away from progressive liberalism, towards a new constituency, more ignorant, more bitter, more easily indoctrinated by the corporate media. We are looking at the massive collapse of progressive liberal capitalism and the possible geological shift to a new terrain, “Trumpism after Trump !” a right-wing ‘populism’ that easily manipulates individual desires over social class interests.
Professor emeritus of American Studies
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
How pro-Israel neocons pushed for war in Iraq
Thomas Friedman (b.1953) is an American journalist and author.
He is a three time Pulitzer Prize winner. Friedman currently writes a weekly column for The New York Times.
Mainstream Israeli media have not been shy in discussing the topic. A 2003 article in Ha’aretz, one of Israel’s main newspapers, reported bluntly :
“The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history.”It gave what it termed “a partial list” – US government officials Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Eliot Abrams, journalists William Kristol, and Charles Krauthammer” – describing them as “mutual friends who cultivate one another.”The article included an interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who was quoted as saying :
“It’s the war the neoconservatives wanted. It’s the war the neoconservatives marketed. Those people had an idea to sell when September 11 came, and they sold it. Oh boy, did they sell it. So this is not a war that the masses demanded. This is a war of an elite.”
The article continued :
“Friedman laughs: ‘I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.’”
Israeli newspaper article described how some of these individuals, high American officials, gave Israeli leaders tips on how to manage American actions and influence US Congressmen, concluding :
“Perle, Feith, and their fellow strategists are walking a fine line between their loyalty to American governments and Israeli interests.”
American author, peace activist, and former CIA analyst Kathleen Christison discussed the situation in 2002 article, reporting:
“Although much has been written about the neo-cons who dot the Bush administration, their ties to Israel have generally been treated very gingerly.”
America's Jews Are Driving U.S. Wars
William "Bill" Kristol (b.1952) is an American neoconservative political analyst and commentator.
He is the founder and editor at large of the political magazine The Weekly Standard
and a political commentator on several networks.
by Philip Giraldi
Shouldn't they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?
UPDATE: On the morning of September 21st Phil Giraldi was fired over the phone by The American Conservative, where he had been a regular contributor for fourteen years. He was told that “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars” was unacceptable. The TAC management and board appear to have forgotten that the magazine was launched with an article by founder Pat Buchanan entitled “Whose War?” which largely made the same claims that Giraldi made about the Jewish push for another war, in that case with Iraq. Buchanan was vilified and denounced as an anti-Semite by many of the same people who are now similarly attacking Giraldi.
I spoke recently at a conference on America’s war party where afterwards an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked, “Why doesn’t anyone ever speak honestly about the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel in this conference and we all know it’s American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East for Netanyahu? Shouldn’t we start calling them out and not letting them get away with it.”
Forced To Sign Loyalty to Israel
Former US lawmaker Cynthia McKinney says every candidate for Congress has to sign a pledge to vote for supporting the military superiority of Israel. "Every candidate for Congress at that time had a pledge. They were given a pledge to sign ... that had Jerusalem as the capital city," McKinney said in an interview with Press TV on Sunday. "You make a commitment that you would vote to support the military superiority of Israel that the economic assistant that Israel wants that you would vote to provide that," she added. McKinney said that if a candidate does not sign the pledge or perform accordingly, "then you do not get money to run your campaign." The former Congresswoman said that after she made the pledge issue public "the tactic changed." "But this is what is done for 535 members of the United States Congress, 100 senators and 435 members of the House of Representatives have to now write a paragraph which basically says the same thing."
No Cost-Free Occupation
by Abdel Bari Atwan
by Christopher Lydon
Those fed up with the charge that "anti-Zionism = anti-semitism," and (especially) that Jewish anti-Zionists are "self-hating Jews" should check out this explosive, necessary book by Moishe Menuhin, "Zionism's first dissident," as Yoav Litvin puts it here.
Swiftly killed when it was (barely) published back in 1965, "'Not by Might, Nor by Power": The Zionist Betrayal of Judaism" is even timelier today, and as eye-opening as it would have been if it had drawn the readership that it deserved—and that it ought to have today.
Anyone who wants to know the awful truth about political Zionism—what it really is, and has been all along—should read this long-forbidden book, and help to spread the word about it.
A Jewish atonement for Zionism
by Yoav Litvin
An Israeli soldier keeps guard near a Palestinian woman standing next to Star of David graffiti sprayed by Israeli settlers at an army checkpoint in the center of Hebron, May 18, 2009.
(Photo: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
“Not by Might, nor by Power”: The Zionist Betrayal of Judaism
By Moshe Menuhin. With a new introduction by Adi Ophir.
Originally published as The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time, Exposition Press, 1965; Forbidden Bookshelf, 2017, ebook $9.99.
Dissidents include individuals who have been victimized and those who have a developed sense of empathy for others’ oppression and trauma.
Acts of dissent range from the minuscule to the enormous and assume countless forms. One can sign a petition, kneel during a national anthem, block a highway, sit in the front of a bus, participate in a strike, march or sit-in, lead an armed revolt, or as in the case of Moshe Menuhin – perhaps Zionism’s first dissident – write a book.
Moshe Menuhin (1893-1983) was born in the city of Gomel (as Moshe Mnuchin), Belarus to a notable orthodox Jewish family. As a young boy of eleven he moved to Palestine where he studied at a Yeshiva in Jerusalem and subsequently was a student in the inaugural class of the first Zionist high school in Tel Aviv – Gymnasia Herzliya. Several of his classmates would become leaders of the Zionist Yeshuv (settlement) and of the new state of Israel, such as Moshe Shertok (aka Moshe Sharett, Israel’s second Prime Minister) and Eliyahu Golomb (leader of the Zionist militia- Haganah). Menuhin moved to the United States in 1913 to pursue higher education at New York University. He was the father of legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin and a committed anti-Zionist throughout his entire life, authoring several books on the topic.
Cover of Moshe Menuhin’s book in 2017 reissue.
Moshe Menuhin’s “Not by Might, nor by Power”: The Zionist betrayal of Judaism is a riveting, thorough, courageous and ruthless indictment of the Zionist project written from an alternative Jewish perspective. In fact, much of this book is rooted in the experiences and observations garnered by Menuhin during his own Aliyah(i.e. immigration) and time in Palestine from 1904-1913.
Now reintroduced to the public in an eBook format by, a series of publications aimed at bringing attention to groundbreaking yet underrated and vanished books (edited by Mark Crispin Miller) it contains an introduction by scholar Adi Ophir and a postscript added by Menuhin in 1969.
Not by Might, nor by Power is a methodical and chronological (and to a significant extent autobiographical) survey of Jewish nationalism, beginning with its various manifestations throughout biblical and post-biblical history, and including its modern incarnation – Zionism – an offshoot of 19th century European political nationalism.
Menuhin devotes the majority of the book to the presentation of historical information peppered with pertinent quotes from Zionist and other world leaders, which reveal a premeditated and systematic plan for the Jewish colonization of the land known then as Palestine – now Israel – alongside a brutal ethnic cleansing of its indigenous people – the Palestinians.
Not by Might, nor by Power is an act of dissent born of pain, love, outrage, shame and a fundamentally Jewish desire for atonement.
Very Dangerous Escalation In Syria
by The Saker
By now many of you must have heard the news: a Russian Lieutenant-General, Valery Asapov, and two Colonels have been killed
in what appears to be a very precisely targeted mortar attack.
Just as in the case of the Russian military police unit recently attacked near Deir ez-Zor, the Russians are accusing the Americans of being behind this attack. To make things even worse, the Russians are now also officially accusing the Americans of actively collaborating with ISIS.
Western Propaganda in Southeast Asia — a True “Success Story”
by Andre Vltchek
It is all done in a fully barefaced manner. Those who are not part of this world could never even dream about such a ‘perfect’ design.
You come to your club, in my case to The Foreign Correspondent Club of Thailand (FCCT), and immediately the long arm of indoctrination begins stretching towards you.
You place yourself on a comfortable couch, and soon after get fully serviced. You get instructed, told what to think and how to formulate or modify your ideas.
Fellow Workers, Friends,
Rich Gibson is emeritus professor, San Diego State University. His new article, "Burns Vietnam: Boomers Teach the Grandbabies More Lies Ahead About the Wars on Vietnam", is a pretty spot on critique of the new 'snake oil' propaganda fake documentary mini-series. He doesn't say it, but he lays out a solid basis for concluding that the world really needs to build a revolutionary union like the IWW.
and his earlier article, "The Vietnam Wars 1954-1980 and Beyond: Why Vietnam?"
gives a lot more detail and background. The graphic illustrations are beautiful.
Resist and Revolt!
Hillary Clinton’s What Happened:
A conspiracy theory of the 2016 election
This one, in both Fr and English may be interestng to you.
Dr. Peter Hudis : « La conscience de la non-viabilité du capitalisme augmente chaque jour qui passe »
Give RPS A Chance
it is only by way of mailings like this one, especially forwarded on by first
recipients like yourself, since only a tiny percentage of recipients
will even open a bulk mailing, that the book can reach readers.
I never identified myself with leftwing politics until, sometime in the 1990’s, I read Noam Chomsky, and a short time after that, his friend and long time collaborator, Michael Albert. Much of the left, it had seemed to me, was riddled with bad ideas and hypocrisy. What these two guys, and a small group of others engaged in similar work, were pointing to seemed to me to be an authentic alternative. Albert calls this alternative a “participatory society” (hence the PS in the title of his new book) which is a vision that has developed out of the left-libertarian tradition that, in turn, has some important strategic implications for revolutionary social transformation (hence the R in the title).
RPS/2044 is, then, a work of fiction. Set in the future (hence 2044 it presents an account of a successful revolution. Although the book is set in America, readers who are not based there should not be put off reading it as the themes covered are applicable to many other parts of the world. The device employed to pull off this challenging project is that of a series of interviews with a diverse group of playfully named characters (you will see what I mean when you read the book). The book itself is made up of 30 chapters, each one covering a different theme and set of issues. These range from the rise of Trump to the issues of health, athletics, acting, media, law, campus and education, workplace design and organisation, elections, as well as the more practical issues of day-to-day organising. As you make your way through the book you will encounter, page by page, ideas and themes that have the effect of evaporating the cynicism generated by both left and rightwing dogma and the unexplored assumptions on which these depend.
If you know anything about the force of nature commonly referred to as Michael Albert you will know that this book is not intended to be read for pleasure alone. On the contrary! It is a book written to inspire an actual revolution along the lines of that described in the book. If you are looking for a nice light read rooted in romance or want to cringe at dystopian images or wonder at outer space marvels then this book is not for you! On the other hand, if you are a dogmatic leftist or general cynic then this book is your medicine! Likewise, if you are a committed, flexible, informed activist, then this book is nourishment! If you are young and know that things are far from right in the world and looking for ideas to inform your path forward then, I would suggest, this book is especially for you!
Jeremy Corbyn’s Speech to Labour Conference
Video and Transcript
Corbyn vowed that Labour would not give a “green light to a reckless Tory Brexit agenda that would plunge Britain into a Trump-style race-to-the-bottom”.
Cold War then. Cold War now.
by William Blum
The anti-Russian/anti-Soviet bias in the American media appears to have no limit. You would think that they would have enough self-awareness and enough journalistic integrity -– just enough -– to be concerned about their image. But it keeps on coming, piled higher and deeper.
Full Interview: Michael Moore
on His Broadway Show,
Trump, Puerto Rico, NFL & Media Support for War
Reprinted from CommonDreams.org
Vietnam War Protesters have NOTHING to Apologize For
by David Zeiger
Sent: Saturday, 30 September, 2017 5:12:22 AM
Subject: SCOTUS Is on the Verge of Decimating Public-Sector Unions? or Just Weakening the Labor Aristocracy?
Fellow Workers, Friends,
Anticipation of the next likely remaining piece of the architecture of "labor peace" that will be ripped out and thrown away, is causing vast consternation in the lofty offices of high paid union presidents and executive directors. They have convinced a lot of the left press that if/when the Supreme Court outlaws the system of agency fees (aka, "fair share" or service fees paid by non-members to a union), that the sky will fall. This article from In These Times (see below) is typical. Although outlawing agency fees would certainly be a big blow to the current dominant model for “business unionism”*, we should not go so far as to predict it would be a death blow for unions.
There are many business unions today which have either failed to get a majority vote for agency fee or which have purposely chosen to NOT try to have any elections for adoption of agency fee. Some, like the Association of San Diego County Employees (ASDCE), are doing pretty well at maintaining a high percentage of dues paying members, on a purely voluntary basis (about 80 percent). Others, like about half of the 10 bargaining units that SEIU Local 221 has in its County of San Diego Chapter, have tried and failed to win elections to get agency fee adopted. Prior to 2001, none of the units in that 221 chapter had agency fee. That is the year when about half of the units voted to adopt agency fee. In all the years since 2001, SEIU’s chapter at the County of San Diego has organized no more effectively than it did before half the units voted for agency fee.
ASDCE’s organizers say it is more healthy without agency fee because the moment the union stops being a true democratic reflection of what its members want, the members are free to "vote with their money" and stop paying dues. This acts as a firewall against union officials becoming corrupted and self-serving. This is important, even for a business union.
In more pronounced contrast, the IWW Constitution has always BANNED any union contract or agreement which provides in any way for an employer to handle union dues (aka, "dues check-off"). This includes agency fee.. Unions in the USA prior to the Wagner Act widely enforced closed shop or union shop agreements directly with the employer; the state was not involved.
Will the increasing anti-labor push to outlaw closed and union shops and agency fees force the labor movement to return to the tactics we used at the time when unions themselves were widely illegal? Will this trend to place the state in direct intervention between workers/unions and employers regarding which contents of labor contracts/agreements are "legal" (and outlawing hard fought terms and conditions) push the labor movement to return to openly class conscious class struggle? Will it bring the death not of unions, but of BUSINESS unions? Will it convince the working class here that the entire legal system designed to promote “labor peace” is really just another weapon in the class warfare, which the ruling class constantly wages against us?
Don't Mourn, Organize!
Retired SEIU shop steward
*For more about business unionism, see, for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_unionism
Please see Shaun Richman’s article:
SCOTUS Is on the Verge of Decimating Public-Sector Unions—But Workers
Can Still Fight Back
by Shaun Richman